Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Bridging The Gap Between Indie Authors And Bookstores


Brandilyn Collins is a best-selling author of 28 books. She is best known for her Seatbelt Suspense®--fast-paced, character-driven suspense with myriad twists and an interwoven thread of faith. She also writes insightful contemporary novels, often laced with humor. Her awards include the ACFW Carol (three times), Inspirational Readers' Choice, the Inspy, Christian Retailer's Best (twice), and Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice. 

Last month I wrote about my goal of helping to bridge the gap between Christian bookstores and indie authors. Currently indie books rarely make it onto the shelves of brick and mortar stores, even when they are distributable. There are numerous reasons for this, but in a nutshell, it’s largely because the stores don’t know these books exist. And even if they did, how can they trust the content, since no publisher has vetted them?

In 2015 I’m looking forward to digging in and trying to solve this problem—along with a “stakeholders team” consisting of people representing the CBA organization, booksellers, distributors, and other interested parties. 

Cathy Ellis, the editor of CBA Retailers+Resources, asked me to write an article about this situation for the February issue of the magazine. By the time I post next month (first Wednesday), the article should be in circulation. It will explain in more detail how the stakeholders team got started and issues we’ll be working on.

This problem is large and multi-faceted, and will take real team work to make a difference. Honestly, I don’t know what will happen. But I’m very excited about trying to solve it for the good of all parties in the Christian publishing industry. (More about my thoughts of how everyone is directly or indirectly affected, including traditional publishers, in the article.) And I’m grateful to the folks at CBA for being so willing to take up this cause with me.

I’ll update you next month.
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Brandilyn’s latest release: Pitchin’ A Fit, book 2 in her Southern contemporary Dearing Family series. 

The wedding between Christina Day and Ben Dearing is planned to be perfect--until Christina's estranged mother shows up. The abusive, alcoholic mother who wasn't invited ...


9 comments:

Ane Mulligan said...

This is terrific, Brandilyn, because it isn't just Indie authors but small press as well. Although, the Munce group has let me post on their blog and send articles, which may help get my book seen by the small bookstore.

Heather Day Gilbert said...

Oh, yay! This is great news. Thank you for continuing to make inroads for indies, Brandilyn. Will be watching for that article.

Nancy Kimball said...

This is great news. Agreed, Heather, that Brandilynn, Randy, and others who are helping our industry find the new normal are so appreciated.

Ron Estrada said...

Thanks for all your hard work BC. This is the year I begin publishing all that writing I did last year and the bookstore issue is a concern. Will you provide a link to that article when it's released?

Ruth Douthitt said...

Terrific! I'm a hybrid author who would love to have my books at Barnes & Noble. Thanks for addressing this!!

Jeannie Kaye said...

Go Brandilyn! You are a go-getter and we love you!

Sally Bradley said...

Brandilyn, thank you for taking this on. As more traditionally published authors like yourself make the change to indie, bookstores are really going to need to deal with this or risk losing authors who move a lot of books for them. It'll be interesting to see how this all fleshes out.

Connie Almony said...

As Sally mentioned above, this issue isn't just about allowing indie books to be distributed to brick and mortar. It's about how bookstores will provide the best content as more traditional authors wade into indie. And for the Christian retailer, the "content" issue is two-fold. Of course, all stores want to find the best quality material to display on their limited shelf space, but as a store whose mission is to provide Christian material, the vetting is even more important. However, the task, is far from insurmountable. I'm so glad you are taking it on--not just as an author myself, but as a reader who would like to see a greater breadth of Christian material available at the store.

Dan Walsh said...

Thanks Brandilyn. Once again you've got your hand-drawn map and machete out, leading the way. After having so many books in retail stores these past several years, not having this option anymore was certainly one of my challenges in moving to the indie world. I hope these issues can be resolved. Print books in retail stores, that's how I used to connect with thousands of my readers.